Mary R. Welsh
Mary R. Welsh passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 16, 2019 at her nursing home at Shell Point, Fort Myers, Florida.
She was born Mary Rose Williams in Gaddsten, Alabama, on June 22, 1932. She was the eldest of two children. Her family moved to Columbus, Ga., where Mary excelled as a student, graduating from high school at the age of 15. Around the same time, she was discovered by a modeling agency. She was first a hand and foot model, and then later, a model for Coca-Cola. She featured prominently in the highly successful “Have a Coke” campaign.
Mary attended Columbus University and completed two years of credits in one year, but regretfully had to withdraw, as she could not afford to continue. Always independent and adventurous, she worked, in the early 1950s in pre-Castro Cuba as a nightclub hostess.
In 1953, Mary met her first husband in Georgia. They moved together to Philadelphia, where they were married in 1954. They moved to their first home in Delaware County and began their family. In 1965, the family moved to Swarthmore.
During her years in Swarthmore, Mary was very involved in the community. She was the president of Riddle Hospital Auxiliary and organizer of its successful annual fundraising fair. She was also the president of the Swarthmore Swim Club, and a member of the Rotary Club of Swarthmore. Always the first to volunteer, Mary was on many charitable committees throughout the years, wherever she lived.
When her children were older, she started to sell real estate in Swarthmore and surrounding areas, first working for Noyes Real Estate, and later for D. Patrick Welsh Real Estate. Her natural warmth and sincerity made her highly successful in her career.
Mary later married D. Patrick “Pat” Welsh. They lived together in Media for many years until they retired to their beloved Sanibel Island, Florida, in 1997.
Mary is survived by her two children from her first marriage, Michael L. Rhodes of Birmington, Ala., and Elizabeth R. Gosling (Greg) of Bermuda. She is also survived by her much-loved granddaughters, Lindsay Rhodes Crowder (Matt), S. Samantha Gosling, and Mary E. Gosling; and her great-grandson, Jackson Crowder.
Mary’s husband, Pat, passed away in 2006. She is lovingly remembered by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Mary will be remembered as a consummate hostess, avid gardener, and fabulous cook and homemaker. She was a truly wonderful, caring and loving woman. She found goodness in everyone she encountered and will be remembered by family and friends for her generosity and selflessness. We shall all miss her, but will be forever grateful that we had her in our lives.
The family will have a private celebration of her life in October.